JAIPUR: The Communist Party of India (M) in Rajasthan on Monday suspended its MLA Balwan Poonia from the party for a year for disobeying party directions in the recent Rajya Sabha polls in the state.
In the RS elections on three seats from the state, Congress' KC Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi, and BJP's Rajendra Gehlot won, while the BJP's second candidate Onkar Singh Lakhawat lost.
The CPI (M) had asked its both MLAs -- Balwan Poonia and Girdhari Lal -- to vote against the BJP during the June 19 polls only if there are chances of the victory of its second candidate, CPI (M) sources said on Monday.
But our MLA Balwan Poonia cast his vote though it was apparent that both Congress candidates are going to win comfortably and BJP's extra candidate is going to lose. In such a situation, there are was no need for Poonia to cast his vote, a party source said.
Poonia, the MLA from Bhardra (Hanumangarh) constituency, voted in support of the Congress candidate, while Girdhari Lal did not cast his vote.
"Despite knowing well that they do not have the numbers to win a second seat, the BJP fielded an extra candidate. We had asked our MLAs not to vote for any party unless the second BJP candidate seemed to be in the competition," the source said.
Poonia has been suspended from the party for one year on charges of disobeying party directions, the source added.
"A showcause notice has been issued to him, seeking explanation in seven days," the sources told PTI.
When contacted, Poonia said he will submit his reply to the party.
"The party has suspended me for one year and has sought explanation which I will submit. They have found my conduct as disobeying. The Congress had sought my support against the BJP so I voted. How would I know in advance that how much votes BJP's second candidate is going to get?" he said.
As many as 198 MLAs out of 200 had cast their votes. Apart from Girdhari Lal, Congress' Bhanwar Lal Meghwal, who is hospitalised, did not cast vote.
Of the 198, Congress party's both the candidates got 123 votes in all and the BJP candidates got 74 votes.
One vote of BJP got rejected. The Congress, which has 107 MLAs, got the support of all 13 independents and the legislators of other parties including one of CPI (M) MLA, while the BJP has 72 MLA and support of three Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MLAs.